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Cutting a Slot in the edge of a board

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andrewm

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Its a while since I was last here but hoping I might get an opportunity to butcher some wood this year. First though is a kitchen to install.

Our chosen handle is of the type that sits on the top of the drawer or door rather than being fixed to the face. To this end it requires a 2.6mm wide slot running the length of the top edge.

What would be the best way to achieve this? I am thinking a slot cutter in a router. The nearest that Wealden stock is 2.5mm. Will the 0.1mm make an appreciable difference? Would I risk splitting the door when forcing in the handle?

Or is there a better way. Any ideas appreciated.

Andrew
 

Woody2Shoes

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andrewm":3kk46ybu said:
Its a while since I was last here but hoping I might get an opportunity to butcher some wood this year. First though is a kitchen to install.

Our chosen handle is of the type that sits on the top of the drawer or door rather than being fixed to the face. To this end it requires a 2.6mm wide slot running the length of the top edge.

What would be the best way to achieve this? I am thinking a slot cutter in a router. The nearest that Wealden stock is 2.5mm. Will the 0.1mm make an appreciable difference? Would I risk splitting the door when forcing in the handle?

Or is there a better way. Any ideas appreciated.

Andrew
The simplest way to do this would be two passes - the second slightly offset from the first. You may discover you don't need the second pass, but it's easy to do if you need to. Cheers W2S
 

cookiemonster

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The whole length of the face?

I suppose for something that thin your options are a table saw or a router as you say. If you go for a router then to keep the slot dead parallel to the face best to use a router table with a good fence.
 

NickM

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You could make a 2.6mm slot with a 2.5mm router bit couldn’t you? It just requires a second pass with a fractional movement of the router (a piece of tape on the router/router table fence for example)?
 

MikeG.

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Alternatively, run one slot, double over a piece of sandpaper and run it along the groove a couple of times until the handle fits as freely as you want it to.
 

andrewm

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cookiemonster":rbiwgu2f said:
The whole length of the face?

I suppose for something that thin your options are a table saw or a router as you say. If you go for a router then to keep the slot dead parallel to the face best to use a router table with a good fence.
Would a table be better? Some of the doors are quite large so might be unwieldy with an router table. I was rather hoping I might be able to find a suitable slot cutter with a bearing. Then it could be done on the bench.
 

TheUnicorn

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I've never had to do this, but my instinct is to think that it would be a simple job with a router, without the need for a table. Also I'd have thought that a a 2.6mm fixing would work its way into a 2.5 slot with a bit of sanding and persuasion with a mallet. I'd be worried that doing a second pass would leave the fixing rattling around in the groove. Definitely see the need to find some scrap would and do a test run or two.
 

Phil Pascoe

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You're not working on the edge of the wood - there's no reason whatsoever why you can't do it accurately with a slot cutter. If doing two passes, insert a piece of brown paper or something when you set the depth then remove it and reset for the second pass - you'll widen the groove by the thickness of whatever material you use as a spacer. Ensure you're widening the correct side of the groove.
 

worn thumbs

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Not the easiest of jobs to do from an edge.Not only do you have to take care that the gap in the fence doesn't cause a wobble,you have to remain square on a narrow edge and cut a depth of a few multiples of the diameter.

Its a good deal easier to use a slotting cutter from a router running on the face.something like this ought to do it.



The website lists a number of thickness variations and 2.54mm might be close enough for a first time fit without a small depth adjustment and a second pass. https://routercutter.co.uk/slotting-cutter
 

worn thumbs

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To be clear, I was advising the use of a bearing guided slotting cutter rather than using a slim cutter and a fence while working on the edge.
 

Seiken

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Did exactly this when replacing drawer fronts a couple of years ago. I used a bearing guided slotting cutter with the router running on the face of the drawer. I think you'll find the odd 0.1mm unimportant as the handle strip (I used) is barbed and has to be knocked in with a mallet anyway.
 

sunnybob

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You realise this discussion is over thickness of a folded sheet of paper?
Variations in the handle material alone may well be more than that, let alone a shaky hand on the router.

Cut one slot, glue sparingly, and use mild cramping force to seat the handle.
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":2npihp91 said:
Alternatively, run one slot, double over a piece of sandpaper and run it along the groove a couple of times until the handle fits as freely as you want it to.
0.1mm ain't going to make whole heap of difference and as Mike rightly says, a couple of passes with a bit of sandpaper will sort it - Rob
 

mbartlett99

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FYI Wealden do a variable slot cutter - uses shims a bit like a spindle moulder cutter - and its very good. You can dial it in in very fine increments.
 

Eric The Viking

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Can you clamp the drawer front to the edge of the bench and use a rail/plunge saw? I can't remember the kerf of mine, but it is in that general range. You wouldn't get any wobble and you could probably get consistency with a jig to position track and workpiece.

Small router cutters tend to have a single cutting edge (not a pair as worktop cutters have), this leaves a fairly rough finish and they are pretty fragile, which plunge saw blades are not. You also need a pretty fast router to spin them.

If it wasn't for the fact that the blades are normally 4mm kerf, a biscuit jointer would do this prety well. It might be possible to get a thinner blade in which case I would use it instead of a tracksaw, because of the ease of alignment using its fence. Mine is a Makita, and I am pretty certain the manual describes how to use it for slotting. I have used it to make eight-foot-long slots at the back of a windowsill with great success.

I don't think a router is a good idea, but you might be able to find out what the pros use...
 

MikeG.

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The answer has been given. It isn't a straight cutter, but a winged cutter on an arbor. It's the only sensible router-based approach.
 

andrewm

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worn thumbs":w286wem8 said:
Not the easiest of jobs to do from an edge.Not only do you have to take care that the gap in the fence doesn't cause a wobble,you have to remain square on a narrow edge and cut a depth of a few multiples of the diameter.

Its a good deal easier to use a slotting cutter from a router running on the face.something like this ought to do it.



The website lists a number of thickness variations and 2.54mm might be close enough for a first time fit without a small depth adjustment and a second pass. https://routercutter.co.uk/slotting-cutter
Thanks all. worn thumbs slot cutter from routercutter looks exactly what I need and its bearing guided so no need for a guide - 0.06mm difference is far less than I normally work to. I can't find a bearing guided cutter on the Wealden site and their variable cutter will not go thin enough.

And as Seiken points out the handle is barbed so there is some leeway in width anyway.
 

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